Listening to friends and family in the UK it seems that the top of everyone’s list of things to do was to make the most of the hot weather this weekend and have a barbecue. It’s a shame that the times you can plan for this in the UK are few and far between. Unlike living in Tenerife, most weekends are spent outdoors from the heights of Torviscas to the beach in Puerto Colon, from the hills of Chayofa down to the Golf the smoke from dozens of barbecues, the smell of grilled food and the sound of laughter zigzags its way along the south coast of the island.
We were party to this yesterday when we joined Alice and Mark at Poochies Pet Hotel along with a dozen of their friends to see how they were getting along with their new venture. It has to be said that the place is looking good, the house is bright and with just a few changes of furniture, they can now take in the exceptional views right down to the coast from their living room.
We were greeted by a bunch of ‘holidaymakers’ who are staying at Poochies while their owners are enjoying their own vacations and a couple of long-stayers who are awaiting the all clear for their flights back to the UK. Of course, Dodo their most famous resident has recently made that journey to his new home. It is amazing how so many dogs, left to their own devices get along so well. All of these guys spent the afternoon, wandering around the grounds, playing chase, catching sticks or checking if the food was cooked and to their liking.
I think Mark was of the impression he was cooking for an army, steak, chops, garlic chicken, burgers, kebabs, Spanish sausages and huge prawns were constantly coming from the large barbecue to join the salads, quiches, jacket potatoes and various dips Alice had provided. Although we didn´t know any of the other guests because we were all dog lovers either having rescued dogs from K9 or doing voluntary work for the rescue centre we all got along famously. Although newcomers to the island Alice and Mark have quickly learnt to fit in and this noisy affair felt typically local. The children played in the pool while the adults sat around, drank good wine and beer and the laughter and good conversation flowed effortlessly. Dogs were spoilt with titbits; they sat on guests knees, the crept under the table and one even found his way into a handbag were some doggie treats were supposedly hidden.
At the end of the day as the sun was starting to set we left the party as the road down is winding and daunting to tackle in the dark if you are not used to it. It was just a reminder of how good it is to spend time with friends and promises were made to do it all again in the not too distant future.
I am happy to say that business is doing well, there are enquiries every week from both old and new clients wishing to place their dogs in a happy environment while they can´t be with them.
Of course, if you are new to the island and don´t know anyone who is having a BBQ you can always have your own. The Environmental Agency has many designated sites dotted around the local municipalities where you will find tables, chairs and stone built barbecues. You won’t find them in tourist resorts but close to where I live, these wonderful places can be found in La Camella and San Miguel. You can join the locals who use them all year round and even if you don´t speak Spanish you will be made very welcome and often asked to sample some of the food they are cooking. If you want to know what the real Tenerife is like this is an experience worth trying.